Karnataka Health Department has stepped up measures to tackle the emerging situation in the state in the backdrop of detection of two cases of Omicron sub-variant BA.2, which is more transmissible than the original strain, in Bengaluru.

A decision has been taken to increase the number of tests in the state, especially in Bengaluru.

The authorities are worried that higher number of Covid cases are being reported from Mahadevapura and East Zones in Bengaluru where most major IT companies are located with lakhs of software professionals at work.

C.N. Manjunath, director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Bengaluru, said on Saturday that Covid variants BA.2.10 and BA.2.12 have been found in the state.

BA.2 variants were earlier found in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Manjunath feels there is a possibility of a fourth Covid wave beginning in Karnataka in three to four weeks, and the BA.2 variant might be responsible for the surge.

However, if a fourth wave hits the state, the number of people getting admitted to hospitals will be lesser than before though the infection will spread rapidly, Manjunath stated.

"There are no restrictions in place in the state now and all activities have resumed just like in the pre-Covid period. This is going to result in a spike in Covid cases in another two weeks. People need to be cautious," he warned.

Those with comorbidities need to be cautious, while wearing masks should again be made mandatory, Manjunath said.

He also advised people not to neglect symptoms of fever, cough and cold and get tested at the earliest.

Earlier, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar had said that some studies have shown that the fourth wave of Covid-19 may start in June-July and last till September, and the state is prepared to face it.